Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thoughts from Today: Mine Dumps

Coeur Rochester Mine, Nevada
USGS photo by Alan R. Wallace, 2005.

I work in a place that has a lot of mine dumps, and that's because I work at a mine.

Mine dumps come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colors.

Often, younger material is dumped on older material, creating patterns of multiple unconformities: different ages of dumped material dipping in different directions, and all of it sitting on bedrock.

When the bedrock below dumped material is broken, faulted, sheared, shattered--as is often the case in mining districts because structural preparation of the rocks often plays a significant role in the location of the ore deposit in question--sometimes a quick glance will not distinguish overlying dump material from underlying broken and shattered rock.

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